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That really is cool. 8) God knows, we have to do something. And if that technology can be developed, it could solve just about all of our problems in one fell swoop. Thanks for posting that link. :D
 

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A lightweight compact car powered just by air? No way. That's not manly enough.

Let's triple the size of the vehicle, put some tubular steel brush guards around the headlights and tail lights, and give it four wheel drive

and if it absolutely HAS to be powered by air, can't we at least set the air on fire some how? we'll need to mix the air with something flammable, like gasoline. that'll work.

and finally for safety, lets hook up the giant compressed air tank to the driver's seat. in case of an accident the driver can be ejected out of the vehicle, straight through the roof, safely landing hundreds of yards away from the accident scene, of course there wouldn't be any parachute or padding to soften the landing, that's for wussies.

now that's manly.
 

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Comparing the gas cost of a conventional gas-powered vehicle to this car as they do is unfair. A better comparison would be to either:

1) Add a heater, air bags, larger motor for adequate power, radios, etc, to the air car to make it a comparable vehicle, or

2) Make a lightweight gasoline car with a tiny engine and no accessories.

No way would Car#2 cost the $12 to drive the 150km. And no way would Car#1 only cost $3.

Like comparing a motorhome to a Prius. So what that the Prius drives farther on a gallon of gas, it isn't a comparable vehicle for comparable use!
 

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It's interesting, but it's also easy to mistake it for a bigger accomplishment than it is. The car may be zero emissions, but that's only because the polluting energy-conversion process happens outside the car rather than inside it.

So the question, as it always is, is whether the whole system produces more or less bad-stuff. If your local hydroelectric dam is producing electricity which runs the air pumps, then you might not be producing any emissions at all -- though you might be messing up a river's ecosystem. If your local power plant is burning fossil fuels to make the electricity to run the pumps, maybe they can take advantage of economies of scale to filter their output better; or maybe the extra conversion and transmission steps are causing the energy efficiency to be lower by enough to cancel that out.

Probably if you did the math, in many parts of the world, this would still end up producing a lot less emissions in the total system than would a comparable-sized, comparable-capacity gasoline-powered car. Same can be said for any car powered by electricity -- which is essentially what this is, just with one extra intermediate step (converting electrical energy into the kinetic energy of air under high pressure) which costs efficiency but might be worthwhile for other reasons. Just don't lose sight of the real impact by looking at only that impact that happens under the hood.
 
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